REVIEW: This Is Not Your Father’s Mummy

Born in Turlock, California in 1964, Richard Paolinelli began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 in Odessa, TX and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon.

When I first read Anne Rice’s The Mummy, or Ramses The Damned (1989) I liked it so much I went about tracking down a hardcover copy of the first print, first edition from the U.K. And this is coming from someone who didn’t much care for her vampire series of books.

So when I finally had time to sit down and read the recently released sequel, Ramses The Damned:  The Passion of Cleopatra, co-written by Rice and her son Christopher, I did so with more anticipation I’ve felt for any book in a very long time. When I opened it up to its very first page I wanted to give it all of the 5-stars I gave the original. But when I had finished I found myself disappointed, almost cheated and trying to decide if the book rated closer to three stars rather than four.

34400370._UY1200_SS1200_The entire gang from the original is back – save the now mummified Henry Stratford of course – and new characters have been included into the mix. Without giving away too much, the inclusion of the origins of the elixir that grants immortality to those that consume it and who created it was a nice touch.

The way the original ended I had expected the sequel to focus on Lord Elliott’s wanderings as a revitalized immortal, tales of Julie and Ramses journeys as she introduced the former Pharoh and Mummy, to the wonders of the 20th Century and the plotting of Cleopatra against her enemies both new and old.

Yet what the sequel gives the reader are almost pale specters of the characters we’d met in the original. Gone was the detailed description of the emotions, the depth of feeling, each character felt as they grappled with the mysteries they were confronted with.

The characters themselves seemed